MinXus Mail Bag: ErAsemic Writing (Asemic Erasure) by Chris Wells (Worthington, Ohio, USA)

Chris Wells - 10.24.2015 - 1

Mail art by Chris Wells (Worthington, Ohio, USA)

A big “Howdy” and a secret Mink Ranch handshake are extended to Chris Wells who graces our humble page today with his work for the first time.

Lately, we have written about “avant tropes.” This wonderful piece Chris Wells sent is a perfect example. We have written lately that we will use a term that has been popularized (but did not originate with) Mr. Ron Silliman: Postavant or Post-avant. Postavant is meant to describe (among other things) work being produced today in the avant garde tradition (or rooted in the historic avant garde). The adoption/use of the term acknowledges a recognizable avant garde has been in place for possibly as long as two centuries (with antecedents as well). The avant garde is no longer new, and many of its innovations are standard practice (thus tropes). Yet work in the avant garde tradition and in the avant garde spirit remains relevant, even popular. Avant tropes are specific strategies that can be located in the historic avant garde.

That brings us back to this wonderful piece Chris Wells sent us. He skillfully unites asemic writing and erasure into a unified work that explores both textual meaning and silence and absence:

You’ve got                     it

which is



nothing          Given



(which we had

from sitting

We find a certain Gertrude Style quality in the writing, which helps locate the preoccupations with both art and language in the work. The work is postmodern as well.

Chris Wells - 10.24.2015 - 2

Many thanks to Chris Wells. We look forward to future exchanges.


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